A kitchen steward, also sometimes called a “kitchen porter,” is a person who works in a commercial or industrial kitchen as a sort of support person. He or she is not usually involved in the actual preparation of food, but keeps things clean and organized so that chefs and food prep assistants can do their jobs efficiently. The steward is often considered one of the lowest ranking members of the staff, but the job is nonetheless very important. Without someone on hand to keep things running smoothly, chefs and others could easily fall behind.
Scope of the Work
Kitchen stewards can be found practically anywhere that food is prepared on a large scale. Restaurants are the most common example, but many also work in hotels, in hospital kitchens, and in school cafeterias. Cruise ship and airplane kitchens may also employ this sort of help.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Keeping things clean is usually the biggest part of a kitchen steward’s job. At the most basic level, this involves washing dishes and scouring pans, though it usually also includes cleaning up workspaces and mopping floors as required. He or she will usually work with chefs and other kitchen staff to make sure that all of the tools and utensils needed for a specific meal or cooking task are washed and ready to go.